| Germany

Starbucks drops plant-based surcharge in Germany

The removal of the charge for almond, coconut, oat and soy dairy alternatives follows similar moves by Starbucks in the UK and France last year

Starbucks dropped its surcharge for dairy alternatives in the UK and France in 2022 | Photo credit: Starbucks


Starbucks customers will no longer have to pay a surcharge for almond, coconut, oat or soy dairy alternatives across the coffee chain’s 155 outlets in Germany. 

Animal rights non-profit PETA welcomed Starbucks’ announcement and called for the world’s largest coffee chain to remove the surcharge across its more than 36,000 stores globally. 

“Starbucks Germany's decision and step is groundbreaking. Now the popular coffee chain should also follow suit on a global level and make the surcharge for plant-based milk alternatives a thing of the past and abolish them in all branches worldwide,” said Tobias Schalyo, Corporate Responsibility Manager, PETA Germany. 

Seattle-based Starbucks still charges up to $0.80 for almond, coconut, oat or soy dairy alternatives across its nearly 16,000 North American stores. 

Germany is Starbucks’ fourth largest market by outlets across Europe, behind the UK, Turkey and France, where the Seattle-based coffee chain operates 1,150, 640 and 220 stores respectively. 

Starbucks dropped its surcharge for dairy alternatives in the UK and France in 2022. 

World Coffee Portal research indicates oatmilk is the preferred dairy alternative of German consumers, favoured by 13% of coffee shop visitors surveyed. 

The growing popularity of oatmilk in Germany has prompted German coffee chain and retailer Tchibo to make Oatly Barista Edition available in its cafés across Europe, albeit with a surcharge of €0.50 ($0.50). 

In October 2022, Swedish oatmilk manufacturer Oatly announced a partnership with Aral, Germany’s largest petrol station network, that will see approximately 1,250 Aral-owned sites use Oatly Barista Edition in its take-away coffee before being sold as a retail product for at-home consumption. 

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